Yesterday morning was spent learning about the art of Taka - the distinct Filipino version of paper mache. This cultural gem is preserved and perfected by “magtataka” - taka artisans from Paete, Laguna, the wood-carving capital of the Philippines. Wood-carving and Taka are interconnected because wooden horses serve as the mold which will be covered by layers and layers of recycled paper, turning it into a Taka masterpiece. After letting it dry for a day or two (depending on the size of the horse), the papered layer will carefully be removed from the wooden horse and there goes your Taka! Of course there is a world of other designs but horses are the traditional ones and you don’t just let go of traditions, right? I learned that in the 1940s-50s, taka horses are considered the ultimate true toys of Paete kids. Nowadays, taka horses are being made from all sizes ranging from tiny ponies to horses big enough for toddlers to ride on. Our taka artisan lecturer speaker, Ma’am Nora Cadlawas, is considered the best in Paete and makes taka horses for export abroad. She has also given lectures on the art of taka in different Philippine provinces and even in China. The most inspiring part? She was able to send herself to school and graduate with a BS Education degree from her taka business! She’s been a taka artisan for 54 years now. I am so thankful to Quriocity for organizing fun and creative learning events such as Good Morning, Taka. I can’t wait for the next learning session!